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Scatter Plot Options command (Options menu)

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Displays a dialog box that allows you to specify the appearance of 3D and 4D scatter plots. To edit any of the X,Y,Z components on a plot of random points, use the Edit Data command on the Edit menu.


Azimuth - view angle around the z axis. 0 degrees is looking in the positive X direction; 90 degrees is looking in the positive Y direction.

Elevation - view angle from the horizontal. 0 degrees gives an elevation view; 90 degrees is looking straight down at the surface. For a pseudo-2D top-down view with X axis at the bottom of the plot and the Y axis labels along the left side of the plot, use elevation and azimuth both equal to 90 degrees.

Also see Shortcuts below for keyboard shortcuts to change the azimuth and/or elevation angles while viewing the plot.

Angles control - the graphic below the Elevation text box allows you to select viewing angles with your mouse. Click within the circle to change the viewing angles. The center of the circle represents an elevation angle of 90 degrees (looking straight down at the surface), the inner circle is 45 degrees, and the outer circle is 0 degrees (viewing along the XY plane). The 3D unit axes will rotate as you move the mouse across this control. View angles will not be changed until you click within the circle.
You cannot select a negative elevation angle (looking up at the surface from underneath) using this control. To use a negative elevation angle enter the value in the Elevation text box or click on the corresponding spin button.

Perspective - if set to a positive value, determines (roughly) the distance from the viewpoint to the center of an imaginary box surrounding the surface for a perspective projection. This value is a multiplier for one-half the diagonal of that box. If less than or equal to 0, a normal orthographic projection will be drawn, with no consideration for perspective. DPlot will force a positive perspective value to a minimum of 1.0 (viewpoint on the surface of the smallest sphere that surrounds the plot). That minimum value typically distorts the plot to a larger degree than you will find desirable. Larger values will typically result in better-looking plots. A good starting point for the perspective value is 2.0.

Preserve Scale - If checked, then the next time this plot is drawn the scale factor used to force the plot into the specified extents (or the available document area if extents are not specified with Extents/Intervals/Size) will be used on all subsequent renderings when spinning the plot around using the keyboard shortcuts described below. This option is primarily useful for smooth animations; if this option is not used then the plot size will tend to increase/decrease and possibly shift left, right, up, or down as you spin it around using the keyboard shortcuts. Note that this may mean that portions of the plot will be clipped when using this option. For best results first select viewing angles that will make the plot take up the largest portion of screen space - typically this will be at azimuths of 45, 135, 225, or 315 degrees.

Scale Factors

Specifies how the X, Y, and/or Z values are stretched or compressed. This has no effect on the actual input values, only the proportions of the plot. Use a negative scale to invert the normal drawing direction, e.g. use a negative Z scale to draw the plot with positive Z in the down direction.

Color Based On

Z Value - Colors used to draw symbols are based on the Z value of the point. For this option, the number of levels and the high and low values are set in the Z parameters box.

Data Set - Each data set is drawn in the same color. You can have up to 100 data sets in a scatter plot.

View Depth - Colors are based on the distance of a symbol from the viewpoint.


Choose between a smooth gradation of colors ranging from magenta to red, black to very light gray, or a custom blend of 6 colors that you specify.


Related macro commands











Shortcuts (3D views):


Decrease azimuth by 1 degree


Increase azimuth by 1 degree


Decrease elevation by 1 degree


Increase elevation by 1 degree


Decrease azimuth by 5 degrees


Increase azimuth by 5 degrees


Decrease elevation by 5 degrees


Increase elevation by 5 degrees

Please note: These shortcuts work best with simple plots: no more than a few thousand data points and antialiasing turned off.



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